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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Muni League Releases Candidate Ratings

posted by on July 22 at 17:27 PM

The Seattle Municipal League just announced its candidate ratings for the 2008 primary election, and, as always, they made some interesting and surprising choices.

• State Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32), whom we’ve lauded for pushing smart environmental legislation year after year (“The Chase Agenda”) received a rating of merely “good,” probably because she was unable to participate in the League’s interview.

• Only eight state legislators received the League’s top rating of “outstanding”: House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43), state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36), state Sen. Fred Jarrett (D-41), state Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37), state Rep. Skip Priest (R-30), state Rep. Lawrence Springer (D-45), state Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-47), and state Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33).

• In the two contested legislative races in Seattle, only one candidate—Reuven Carlyle, running for the open 36th District seat being vacated by Helen Sommers—received an “outstanding” rating. Carlyle’s opponents, John Burbank and Leslie Bloss, were ranked “good” (the middle ranking, above “adequate” and “not qualified”); meanwhile, both candidates in the 46th District, Scott White and Gerry Pollet, received a “good” ranking.

• Both incumbent state Supreme Court judges running for reelection, Mary Fairhurst and Charles Johnson, received “outstanding” ratings.

• The Muni League gave Libertarian Ruth Bennett, running against Pettigrew, a surprisingly high rating of “good,” despite the fact that the perennial candidate has a tendency to go off about things like her gun collection and PDA-based ridesharing programs as an alternative to light rail. Although Bennett didn’t fill out a candidate questionnaire, here’s what she had to say about her moderate opponent’s safe Democratic seat during our endorsement interview: “You could be found lying in a gay bar with your pants around your ankles, raping nuns and babies, with a heroin needle in your arm and a McCain bumper sticker on your car—and your support would only go down from 95 to 90 percent.”

The also-ran candidates’ questionnaires always have a tendency to be AWESOME, and this year was no exception.

• Republican 36th District state Rep candidate Leslie Bloss Klein; see correction here) (ranking: “adequate”(??)), whose campaign principles include giving “the largest unrepresented, oppressed, suppressed, demonized, vilified and hated minority in my neighborhood, Republicans, someone that they can vote for,” the theme “compassion for a Republican,” and the statement, “I cannot win.” Klein adds: “Everything I do and think is for the good of the universe with harm to none,” and notes that his proudest accomplishment was “my ability to help a friend unlock her psychic abilities that had become blocked.”

• Independent Margaret Wiggins, running for state Rep in the 32nd District, wants to lower gas taxes because they only reward bus riders while “hardly help[ing] the majority of working folks to get where they need to go. Her “greatest accomplishments,” alas, “are not for public comment.”

• 46th District state House candidate John Sweeney, a Republican, who is “currently working on rethinking the theology and ‘niche’ of the mainline denominational churches.”

•KC Superior Court candidate Matthew Hale, who calls himself a “talented writer,” is running because he has “an insatiable hunger for justice and a belief that justice should flow out of the courthouse like a mighty stream for all who enter its doors.”

The Muni League is having a party to celebrate the release of its voters guide from 7:00 to 9:00 tonight, at Spitfire, 2219 Fourth Ave.

RSS icon Comments


"justice should flow out of the courthouse like a mighty stream for all who enter its doors."

In the absence of power washing the sidewalks outside the courthouse at 3rd and yesler, I guess that will have to do...

Posted by Trevor | July 22, 2008 6:23 PM

Strange things in the 45th (only good for Roger Goodman??!!), but Toby is not a legislator, currently, he just plays one at ANNNNYY public event he runs across.

So that would make 9 electeds getting an Outstanding, by your list.

It's also Larry Springer, although Lawrence sounds nice.

And it's the King County Muni League, not Seattle.

Posted by AndrewSEA | July 22, 2008 6:45 PM

"Case postponed again, Bob?"

"Yup--damn mighty stream of justice shorted out the power again."

Posted by Seth | July 22, 2008 7:00 PM

I love this dude's explanation for why the Muni League had insufficient info. Even the lesser-knonw crazies are entertaining:

Posted by Gidge | July 22, 2008 8:33 PM

Did you really mean to say that John Sweeney is a "Souse" candidate?

Posted by earwig | July 22, 2008 8:52 PM

The Muni League only makes ratings for candidates in contested races, explaining the absence of several other fine legislators.

Posted by lorax | July 22, 2008 9:44 PM

I encourage people to participate in the Muni League's candidate ratings. You just need to fill out an application--honestly signing that you will check party affiliation at the door and that you aren't part of any campaign or a donor to one.

You learn a lot about all the candidates. Some are powerful political animals and some are bat-shit crazy. It's fun! Fuck the haters. Until they've been on a candidate evaluating committee they don't know what they're talking about.

Posted by Former evaluator commenter (sorry Muni League) | July 22, 2008 10:05 PM


Nothing on Terry Bergerson not being endorsed by the KC Dems Tuesday night?

And some of us gave such great speeches ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 23, 2008 9:32 AM

“You could be found lying in a gay bar with your pants around your ankles, raping nuns and babies, with a heroin needle in your arm and a McCain bumper sticker on your car—and your support would only go down from 95 to 90 percent.”

This is such bullshit. I wouldn't have my pants round my ankles, they'd just get in the way.

Posted by blank12357 | July 23, 2008 9:32 AM

The one "outstanding" rating that you missed was for Democratic candidate Tina Orwall in the 33rd Legislative District (SeaTac, Kent, Normandy Park, Des Moines). Other than Carlyle, she's the only candidate rating "outstanding" who hasn't already served in the Legislature.

Posted by Murgen | July 23, 2008 11:12 AM

Right on Margaret Wiggins! It's time someone stood up to those elitist bus riders.

Posted by elswinger | July 23, 2008 12:06 PM

Dear Erica,

You didn't get your facts correct. I received a "good" rating the same as John Burbank. You were quoting from Leslie Klein, Position #2.

Now don't you feel bad? Well, anyway, what is important here is that I, Leslie Bloss, am running for Position #1. My opponents both want a state income tax (which I and many people oppose) and I want to keep an elevated viaduct--which many people also want.


Leslie Bloss

Posted by Leslie Bloss | July 23, 2008 4:35 PM

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